I’ve been losing sleep over the recent UNESCO vote to disconnect the Temple Mount from its historic connection to Judaism and the Jewish people, referring to the site only by its Arabic name of al-Haram al-Sharif. The absurdity of this is more than obvious, like Prime Minister Netanyahu quipped that this is like disconnecting the Wall of China from China.
What I’m wondering is if Judaism has any insight on how and why the world (UNESCO is a world body) could and would make such audacious claims and get away with it?
With regard to difficult questions such as these we look to the Torah which states, “Remember the days of old, understand the years of generation after generation; ask your father and he will relate it to you, your elders and they will tell you.” (Deuteronomy 32:7). The Targum Yonasan says that “your father and the elders” refers to the words of the Torah and Prophets, who have both prophesied and experienced that which will befall the Jewish people and have the experience of generations with which to understand the ways of God in how He interacts with His nation. The Torah goes on to foretell all of the future history of the Jewish people in that context; when these things transpire we will have where to refer back to and see how these things aren’t really new, but have their roots in the Document which is the pedigree of our nation. You obviously did not turn to me to understand the political underpinnings of this resolution, but to gain insight into the spiritual side of this.
What I am about to say may be difficult to swallow, but in times like these that we are living in it is necessary to wash away the sugar coating and deliver the message as it is.
Your question has been dealt with in a treatise written by one of the pre-eminent Torah sages before and during World War II, Rav Elchanan Wasserman ob’m. Based upon the above verse and many which follow, R’ Wasserman explains the unprecedented current events of his time, which he prophesied were leading up to the Holocaust, by the adage that “the Gentiles do to us that which we do ourselves.” He cites a number of examples where the anti-religious Jews tried to stamp out different areas of religious life, and the Gentiles shortly thereafter made similar, even more violent decrees against all Jews, religious and secular. This sage was not coming after the fact of the Holocaust and making a judgment as to why it took place, rather was in the midst of events leading up to that tragedy, and wrote his treatise to European Jewry to wake up and smell the coffee, because things weren’t looking good. (R’ Wasserman himself was eventually murdered by Lithuanian Nazi sympathizers in the Kovno ghetto.) He cites his examples to show how every negative action by the Jews carries a more profoundly evil reaction by the Gentiles.
It has been discovered that most of the anti-Israel resolutions passed in the U.N. have been largely based upon information provided to that body by self-hating Israelis who are privy to much inside information, or misinformation, which is automatically assumed to be correct since it is being provided by Israelis themselves.
Taking this a step deeper, based on R’ Wasserman’s thesis, the nations wouldn’t have the audacity to claim that the Jews have no connection to the Temple Mount unless many Jews had already made that claim and attempted to create an Israel with no past. UNESCO could never get away with such a preposterous claim unless we had opened those gates of falsehood.
The spiritual way to fight this resolution and those like it are to reinforce our connection to Israel, Jerusalem and the Wall and all they stand for. This will pull out the spiritual rug from under the feet of those who seek our destruction. The more we connect ourselves to our past and bring it into our present and future, the less leverage our enemies will have to disconnect us from that rich past and to stamp out our future.